October 2, 2014

Waiting on bombshells in the budget

While Governor Scott Walker has spent much of the last two weeks previewing his state budget plan, there will likely still be some surprises included in the proposal he unveils tonight.

UW-Madison political scientist Charles Franklin says it’s not unusual for governors to spend the days leading up to a budget address touting the initiatives in the plan. He says it helps attract attention to aspects they believe will be popular and starts the process of building support for the proposal.

Walker has already released details on several of his budget plans, covering areas such as health care, education, and crime. Still, Franklin says there could be some bombshells that come out once the full budget is released.

No matter what they are though, Franklin says they will likely pale in comparison to the uproar seen when Walker introduced his first budget in 2011. That plan came out in the midst of continued protests at the Capitol over Walker’s push to curtail collective bargaining for most public employees.

AUDIO: Charles Franklin (:15)

Franklin notes that the governor is also likely to brag a little about the state’s improved financial picture. The state was facing a $3.6 billion deficit when Walker took office, which has turned into a surplus under many of the changes the governor made in the last biennial budget.

The governor will deliver his budget address tonight before a joint session of the Legislature.

John Colbert, WIBA